Tag Archive: Video Game Reviews


I’m sure by now you’re familiar with the formula for a Rockstar game. Open world, a plethora of cars to drive around in, plenty pedestrians to run over and torture, shooting stuff with shoddy gun and cover mechanics, a large variety of mission based gameplay and narrative advancement, a decent narrative and story wrapped around a pretty one dimensional protagonist with a lot of cool friends, America, political commentary, and the words Grand Theft Auto in the title, but for the most part, with as many flaws their games might have, they made up for it with witty humor and giving the player freedom to reek havoc in almost anyway that they may choose. Recently Rockstar have noticed that their company can’t survive on Grand Theft Auto alone, so they released the stunning Grand Theft Horse, err, Red Dead Redemption. They kept the basic gameplay elements of the Grand Theft Auto series such as the open world, mission base, ect. But they went and made some major tweaks to their style such as improving the gunplay mechanics, pulling the style out of modern America into the wild west, creating one of the more interesting video characters out there, and also crafting one of the best game narratives available today. While from a technical stand point the game was filled with flaws, it completely won over gamers as they got sucked into John Marston’s wild west and his quest to hunt down his ex-gang members. Along with the great narrative, the game its self was just damn fun to play and in its own right, Red Dead Redemption was a very ambitious game. Now Rockstar pushes its self further and brings players into Los Angeles during the 1940’s right after the end of WWII and the ambition scale is through the roof. Continue reading

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What would the world look like years after the apocalypse?  I bet images of nuclear fallout, grey skies, and world devoid of any plant life pass through your mind.  In our modern way of thinking the most likely way of our civilization on the plant Earth coming to an end would be through nuclear war, and at this moment in time, you would be right.  But what about possible another angle?  Like another classic end of the world scenario, our obsession with computers, convenience, and technology turning against us and wiping out the human race.  That’s the angle that developer Ninja Theory took when developing the world that inhabits Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Continue reading

While digging around in the bargain bin at my local media shop I came across a game called Darksiders.  I had remembered hearing some decent press about it, the screenshots on the back of the box seemed interesting to me, and the price was right so I picked it up.  When I got home and finally got around to popping it into my Xbox360 I found myself rather impressed by a title that I had thought would be an average time killer. Continue reading

Comedy in video games is something quite rare.  I can only think of a handful of games that can make me honestly laugh my ass off with truly genuine jokes and situations.  The first Portal, a toss in bonus game that was included in Valve’s deal of the century, “The Orange Box”, blew me away.  Let alone that the ingenious gameplay concept was one of the most original ideas I’ve seen in a game in years, the humor and writing in it were honed to perfection spurring one of the biggest memes in internet history, “The cake is a lie.”  Valve had created an unintentional monster and Portal went on to be lauded as on of the best games of this current console generation(and according to many reputable game sites, the best game ever).  Valve had some hefty expectations to live up to when making a sequel to a game held in such high reverence.  And did they do it, well in short, you better bet your ass they did. Continue reading

“What a horrible night to have a curse.”  In Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest that phrase would appear to signify a change from day to night.  And for some reason, big changes, like day to night, were a curse upon the Castlevania series.  The series has adopted minor changes throughout its life, such as using the Super Metroid style maps and incorporating an experience point system, but anytime the series tried to make a major change, such as, let’s say move from 2d to 3d, it’s curse would would rear its ugly head.  A couple of the 3d attempts were mildly decent, the rest were complete failures.  A big reason for that I believe is because the people who were working on the games lost way and forgot what made the Castlevania games so great in the past. Continue reading

Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii is the complete package for any fan of old-school side-scrolling platformers.  Its got highly diverse level structures, crisp and colorful graphics, great upbeat music, and great charm.  Its also got a level of difficulty that has been forgotten for a long time.  Nintendo doesn’t pull any punches to ease the difficulty of this game at all, you will loose many balloons(lives) playing through this game.  On quite a few levels I went through 40-50 lives(DKCR is quite generous with the 1ups) just to reach the end.  But the great thing of the challenging nature of Donkey Kong doesn’t come from bad controls or cheap enemy shots, its from the amazing level design that Nintendo and Retro Studios created.  Never once does a lost life feel cheap, you fell into that pit or got hit by that enemy because it was your fault(ie. mistiming a jump, running too fast, ect.).  And no matter how many balloons I was popping, I never stopped playing because the levels are just that fun and engaging that you will want to keep playing through them.  If you lose enough lives on a level a little pig shows up and offers to show you how to play through the level, but I never used this feature. Continue reading

What’s the worst thing a developer can put in a video game. Escort missions. Bring the mentally challenged, paint-chip eating AI controlled character from point A to point B without letting him/her be killed. These type of missions always end up with said AI character running face first into a storm of swords, wandering off a cliff, or skipping into a hungry horde of zombies. Somehow in Resident Evil 4, Capcom addressed this issue with the escort missions by letting you toss your escortee, Ashley, into a dumpster while you ran around and killed off all the lurking zombies. This method worked to an extent, but was not perfect. There were times I wished I was able to give her a shotgun and have her blow away a zombie when they found her in her comfy little dumpster. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only person to want to be able to do this, because in RE5, Capcom lets you give your “partner” an entire arsenal of weapons. Continue reading